Who owns culture? The politics and poetics of decolonising museum displays
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HWH66
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
This one-day course will focus on a critical examination of the role of museums and ethnographic collections.
Students will be introduced to the contemporary theoretical discussions and debates concerning ethnographic museum collections in the 21st century and the preservation of cultural heritage.
What will we cover?
Some of the themes we question relate to the changing role in the acquisition of indigenous material from the 19thC. In contrast to the past, how are these cultural objects represented by and for whom today?
In our post-colonial society, what about the topical question of repatriation and returning all ‘museum cultural property’ back to their host culture?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand the broader debate on decolonising museum displays and collections
- assess the different voices in the debate and their perspectives
- speak about these complex matters with nuance and confidence.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The class is introductory and requires and assumes no prior knowledge or particular skills. As with many of our history and politics courses, however, a good grasp of English, curiosity and the willingness to think through different perspectives will help you enjoy the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through tutor presentation, Q & A and discussion. To conclude our discussion, students will have the opportunity to participate in a class role play to explore how an object departs from an African village, and with intervention from art dealters, anthropologists and curators, the object ends up in the British museum ethnographic gallery.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no additional costs. You may wish to bring pen and paper, or digital equaivalents, for note-taking.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please explore our website for additional courses on colonial and imperial history, heritage, memory and postcolonial politics.
Yasmin completed a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology and an MA in the History of South Asian Art and Architecture which complemented her role as a museum educator and curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her research interest in the social use of space, indigenous art and architecture was consolidated through ethnographic fieldwork in India, and latterly commenced doctoral research in the Anthropology of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and UCL. Yasmin has lectured at various academic institutions including Birkbeck and University of Arts, and is currently based at City Lit and Goldsmiths University, teaching Anthropology modules including Intro to Anthropology, Anthropology of Art, Film and Photography and the Anthropology of Space, Place and the Landscape. She is currently involved in research at the UCL Media Anthropology Lab, working with digital research methods and indigenous Amazonian communities in South America. Yasmin has also curated a Tamil, South Indian community exhibition called the ‘Talking Streets’. ways. She is a freelance anthropology consultant, tutor and delivers a range of successful independent cultural workshops at Anthropology for all.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.